Its a family affair at hospice

IPSWICH: IT seems that hearts of gold come in threes.Three generations of one family all regularly give up their time to volunteer at St Elizabeth Hospice's distribution centre in Ipswich.

IPSWICH: IT seems that hearts of gold come in threes.

Three generations of one family all regularly give up their time to volunteer at St Elizabeth Hospice's distribution centre in Ipswich.

Grandma, Irene Sharpe, 72, started volunteering for the charity soon after her husband, Gordon, died 14 years ago. He had respite care at the hospice.

Her daughter, Sarah Nicholl, 48, joined about four years ago, and now her daughter, Ellie Nicholl, 19, has also started helping out.

The trio enjoy their time together sorting through bags of donations for the charity, which helps care for those with life-limiting conditions.

Mrs Nicholl, of Graham Road, Ipswich, said: “I was popping in so much a few years ago to see my mum at the centre that I started helping out. The same thing happened with my daughter. My mother tends to live there.

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“I do it for the team spirit. It is nice to go there with my mother and daughter and is a way of meeting up and spending time together. “It is a real family affair. We have a bit of a laugh.”

Ellie helped out in the summer holidays and although she has now gone back to university in London, she hopes to continue volunteering during her breaks.

The rest of Mrs Nicholl's family, including her three other children, also help out at events held for the hospice.

Fiona Browning, the hospice's deputy retail manager, said: “To have three generations of one family volunteering at once for us is very unusual - they do a great job and it's nice to know people of all ages can get something out of helping the hospice. “

The hospice is often looking for volunteers at its shops across east Suffolk and at the distribution centre at the Riverside Industrial Park, Rapier Street.

To find out more visit www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk.

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